The Big East cross country championships were held on Friday morning at Northview Church Cross Country Course in Carmel, Indiana. Both the Villanova Wildcats men's and women's teams entered the day nationally ranked, but only the men were expected to compete for the team title. The races were held on a cold, windy and rainy day, making for a tough course.
Sophomore Patrick Tiernan, the defending individual champion, paced the pack as expected and won with a time of 23:45 (beating his time of 23:51 from the previous year) in the 8K race. Tiernan became just the third runner ever to repeat as the BIG EAST champion. His teammates got the job done for the team title as the 'Cats placed five runners in the top 10 and took the top three spots overall.
Sam McEntee (2nd, 23:51) Jordy Williamsz (3rd, 23:52), Rob Denault (6th, 23:55), Brian Basili (11th, 24.03) Harry Warnick(12th, 24:16) and Kevin Corbusier (21st, 24:38) helped the Wildcats defend their title from last year, capture their third title in four years, and their sixth BIG EAST championship in the history of the program.
The women, coming off a win at the Princeton Invitational, finished 4th overall behind Georgetown, Providence, and Butler in the 6K race. The finish was a bit of a disappointment for the women who entered the day ranked 24th nationally, but they couldn't overcome unranked squads from Providence and Butler. Georgetown dominated the women's race as expected, finishing 1-3-5-6-8 with senior All-American Katrina Coogan running away for the win with a time of 20.31 - she wont the race by 10 seconds.
Villanova was led by freshman Siofra Cleirigh Buttner who placed 13th overall with a time of 21"17. Stephanie Schappert (17th, 21:34), Angel Piccirillo (20th, 21:52), Caitlin Bungo (21st, 21:58) and Nicole Armstrong (29th, 22:07) all finished in the top 30. Cleirigh Buttner was named an All-BIG EAST runner following the race.